If you look strictly at the numbers, there is a "right" way to pay off debt.
Mathematically, the best way to maximize your money is to focus on paying down debts with the highest interest rates first. Following that logic, if you have a $1,000 credit card bill with a 24 percent interest rate, you should tackle that before your $7,000 student loan with a 6.5 percent interest rate.
Known asthe "avalanche method," this strategy minimizes the amount of interest you're paying overall, which can save you thousands over time, depending on the level of debt you have.
However, the avalanche method isn't always the most effective one because for many people it doesn't generate the motivation needed to make debt elimination a priority. In fact, researchers for the Harvard Business Review found that the opposite approach, known as the snowball method, actually proved to be the most effective strategy.
Popularized by "The Total Money Makeover" author Dave Ramsey, the snowball method prioritizes your smallest debts first, regardless of interest rate.